Research Assistant Professor of Law & Faculty Affiliate in Politics
University of Virginia


Areas of Expertise
Human Rights, Immigration, International Criminal Court, International Human Rights Law, International Law, International Organizations, Refugees and Displacement, Treaties, US Foreign Policy

Region of Focus
North America

Kevin Cope is a research assistant professor of law and faculty affiliate at the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. Cope’s research focuses on law and economics, international relations and international law. He is especially interested in the law and politics of international institutions, migration, and relationships between domestic institutional structure and international behavior.

Cope’s work is published or forthcoming in law reviews such as the Michigan Law Review, American Journal of International Law, Political Science Research and Methods, Law and Contemporary Problems, and Virginia Journal of International Law, and in books published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and others. His short articles have been published in FiveThirtyEight and Slate.

Before coming to the Law School, Cope served as a federal judicial clerk for judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Northern District of Ohio and the Court of Federal Claims. He also practiced government enforcement litigation law in Washington, D.C., with Skadden, Arps, where he handled matters involving treaties, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, immigration law, the World Bank and the U.S. Constitution. In law school, he served as an editor of the Northwestern University Law Review.

Recent Publications
Kevin L. Cope & Charles Crabtree, “Conceptualizing and Measuring Repression,” 81 Law & Contemporary Problems (forthcoming 2018)

James D. Morrow & Kevin L. Cope, “The Limits of Information Revelation in Multinational Negotiations: A Theory of Treatymaking” (working paper)

Kevin L. Cope & James D. Morrow, “Alliance-Forming in Treaty Negotiations” (working paper)

Kevin L. Cope & Charles Crabtree, “International Law and Attitudes Toward Refugees: A
Field Experiment” (working paper)

Kevin L. Cope & Yonatan Lupu, “What’s Next? Cross-disciplinary Possibilities for Rights Research, 81 Law & Contemporary Problems” (conclusion to special issue: The Future of Human Rights Scholarship, forthcoming 2018)

Kevin L. Cope, Cosette D. Creamer, & Mila Versteeg, “The Empirical Study of Rights and Institutions,” 15 Annual Review of Law & Social Science (forthcoming 2019)

Kevin L. Cope, Charles Crabtree, & James D. Morrow, “Estimating State Interest From Treaty Negotiations” (working paper)

Kevin L. Cope & David Leblang, “Non-immigrant Visas as Foreign Policy” (working paper)

Kevin L. Cope, Charles Crabtree, & Christopher J. Fariss, “Exploring Disagreement in Indicators of State Repression,” Political Science Research and Methods (forthcoming 2018)

Kevin L. Cope & Hooman Movassagh, “National Legislatures: The Foundations of Comparative International Law,” in Comparative International Law (Anthea Roberts et al. eds., Oxford University Press 2017)

Kevin L. Cope, “Treaty Law and National Legislative Politics,” in Research Handbook on the Politics of International Law (Wayne Sandholtz & Christopher Whytock eds., Edward Elgar 2017)

Kevin L. Cope & Mila Versteeg, Book Review (reviewing “The Interpretation of International Law by Domestic Courts” (Helmut Philipp Aust & Georg Nolte eds., Oxford University Press 2016)), 111 American Journal of International Law (2017)

Kevin L. Cope & Cosette D. Creamer, “Disaggregating the Human Rights Treaty Regime,” 56 Virginia Journal of International Law 459 (2016)

Kevin L. Cope, “Congress’s International Legal Discourse,” 113 Michigan Law Review 1115 (2015)

Kevin L. Cope, “Lost in Translation: The Accidental Origins of Bond v. United States,” 112 Michigan Law Review (First Impressions) 133 (2014)

Kevin L. Cope, “The Intermestic Constitution: Lessons From the World’s Newest Nation,” 53 Virginia Journal of International Law 667 (2013)

Kevin L. Cope, Reconceptualizing Recognition Uniformity, in Foreign Court Judgments and the U.S. Legal System (Paul Stephan ed., Brill 2014)

Kevin L. Cope, South Sudan’s Dualistic Constitution, in The Social & Political Foundations of Constitutions (D.J. Galligan et al. eds., Cambridge University Press 2013)